On this thirty-ninth Lord's Day of 2019, September 29, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The scriptures we are to know are the holy scriptures; they come from the holy God, were delivered by holy men, contain holy precepts, treat of holy things, and were designed to make us holy and to lead us in the way of holiness to happiness; being called the holy scriptures, they are by this distinguished from profane writings of all sorts, and from those that only treat morality, and common justice and honesty, but do not meddle with holiness. If we would know the Holy Scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did” (Matthew Henry, Commentary on 2 Timothy, p. 846).
- This past Friday (Sept.27) pastor-elect Jacob Maatman was ordained into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC and installed as Southeast PRC's new pastor. In that conection, we find this note about his first service: "The inaugural service led by Pastor-elect Maatman is scheduled for Sunday evening, September 29. The program committee is planning a small welcome program to follow the service, with dinner served afterward in the hallway. Please plan to come and stay for this joyful event, as we welcome Pastor-elect Maatman, Rachel, and their children into our congregational life and fellowship."
- This past week at the meeting of Classis West in Calvary PRC, Hull-IA, pastor-elect M. Kortus sustained his examination and the Consistory of Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) was instructed to proceed to his ordination and installation. This will take place, Lord willing, on Sunday, Oct.6. We rejoice in God's gracious gift of another minister of the Word in the PRC. May the Lord continue to prepare and equip this brother for his labors as a servant of Jesus Christ and His church.
- On September 22 Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane). We remember him in prayer as he weighs this call.
- The Council of Grandville PRC announces a new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: "Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). The congregational meeting is scheduled for Oct 6 following the evening service."
- Rev. T. Miersma is leading the worship services at Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) again today.
- Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is leading the worship services of the daughter group of Byron Center PRC today. They are currently meeting at Zion Christian School (Byron Center Ave & 76th St.).
- Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26. Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"
- Pictures taken at the recent Seniors' Retreat in Gull Lake, MI may be found in a pdf accessed by registered users on the PRC bulletin page. Thanks to Phil Harbach for providing these.
*Pastor-elect Kortus (with his wife, Sarah) receiving his classical diploma and congratulations from Rev. R. Barnhill, president of Classis.
Classis West: Classis West met this past week at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. It will reconvene in early November to finish its work. For the full, official report of the stated clerk, visit this special news page on this meeting.
Contact Commitee: Revs. C. Griess and C. Spronk along with their wives, and Pete Vander Schaaf and his wife, will be visiting the BERG in Giessen, Germany on behalf of the Contact Committee of our PRC. They will be gone from September 30 (tomorrow) to October 14.
Sem. Jeremy Helms leading the mid-day devotions at seminary a week ago.
PRC Seminary News:
- The seminary is now entering its sixth week of the first semester in the new school year, and both faculty and students are busy with their tasks of teaching and studying. Some of the students and most of the professors also teach catechism and lead Bible studies in the West Michigan area. The first practice preaching session is only a week away, as Josiah T. and Marcus W. will deliver their first sermons of the new term. Pray for them and for the staff as they busy themselves in these kingdom labors. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.
- On Sept.4 Rev. B. Huizinga was installed as the new professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies during a worship service at Grandville PRC. Prof. Huizinga has begun work on his advanced degree (ThM) at Calvin Theological Seminary while also taking some classes at Puritan Refomred Seminary. Our other new professor, Douglas Kuiper, has begun giving instruction for the first time this semester, teaching the pre-seminary Greek grammar course, as well as Hermeneutics and a new Research and Methodology course.
- Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.
- Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.
- The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). The new glass barrier was installed in the library this past week and the second shipment of library furniture is due on Monday. As part of regular building maintenance, new windows were also installed this past week in the professors' offices. In the archives room the special flooring and shelving was installed this past week (see the final look below). Please feel free to stop by and see the new look - the library is truly beautiful and the new archives storage is exciting!
- Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.
New storage shelving (Space-Saver) in the new PRC archives room at the seminary, now off the main floor library
*Learn about the latest issue of "Covenant Reformed News" (below)
- Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
- Rev. A. denHartog and his wife returned to the CERC this past week. Concerning that, her bulletin today states: "Today we welcome Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry to worship with us once again. We thank God for bringing them back safely. Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry will be with us till the end of this November. We are grateful to them and thankful to God for their sacrificial love towards His people."
- Also, her bulletin has this fitting note concerning the calling of a new minister on loan: "The Council of Grandville, PRC has formed a trio comprising Revs Garrett Eriks, Rodney Kleyn and Jonathan Mahtani on 19 Sep. Grandville PRC plans to hold a congregational meeting after the evening service on 6 Oct to vote for the MOL to Singapore. Let us continue to pray and wait patiently for the Lord's choosing of His servant to be sent to CERC."
- Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
- Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
- Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He will continue the teaching of the Revelation.
- Provident CC: "Rev. Holstege will preach both times for PPRC today and next Sunday, Lord willing." And this note too: "The Adults Society will meet today at 2:00 to continue studying the book of James. A big thanks to the society for organizing the recent evangelism conference! “Ye shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life…” (Phil. 2:15-16)."
- And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
- Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He will continue the teaching of the Revelation.
- Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
- The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.
Looking for Bible study resources or a good book to read this Fall? Visit the RFPA Bookstore in Jenison, MI.
If you missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."
- If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
Looking for a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville! From the RBO Fall newsletter: September 25% off Sale! 25% off most Bibles, books, and Bible covers! Stop in and check out the clearance table, where items are available for $2 and restocked with different books each month!
- Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer. If you missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."
- You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.
- Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
- For the rest of September the RWH is featuring some "classics" of Rev. C. Haak. Today's message is "The True Christian Life" based on 2 Timothy 4:7,8 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:
Have you signed up yet to receive the emailed Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) newsletter? Six times per year, we update you on news about our speakers, program, and online reach, and we share stories from listeners and readers who have been blessed by the RWH, a ministry of the PRC. Please visit http://eepurl.com/gikNsL to sign up for the newsletter.
A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!
ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:
- The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
- The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
*Reformed Free Church in S. Negros where Rev. D. Kleyn recently led in worship and preached
PRC MISSION NEWS:
- Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. From BC-PRC's bulletin today we find these notes:
- Pastor Spriensma is filling the pulpit for the daughter group of BC-PRC today (meeting at Zion Christian School).
- Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
- Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
- A fresh mission newsletter was published this week from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. The September 2019 edition may be found here.
- *From the latest post of Mrs. Sharon Kleyn, we find this note about their recent trip to Sipalay (Sept.14-16):
For many years now, the missionaries have been traveling to the city of Sipalay on the Island of Negros to hold classes with a number of pastors and elders in that area who are interested in the Reformed truth. Now, with three missionaries present, they are hoping to expand this work by going on the weekends and speaking/preaching/teaching in the churches there in addition to continuing the classes for the pastors and elders.This past Saturday, September 14, Rev. Kleyn and I flew into Bacolod City and drove the 3-4 hour trip south to Sipalay. Along the way we stopped to check in with two of the pastors, Pastor Rosal and Pastor Donasco. They assured us that they were planning on us on the following day (Sunday), and specific times and arrangements were made.Sunday morning we left Sipalay around 8:15 for the half hour trip back north to the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan where Pastor Rosal is the pastor. This church has already been following the order of worship we are used to and has used the Psalter for many years. They also are organized with elders and deacons.Rev. Kleyn first led the adult Sunday School class, speaking, at their request, on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.After the Sunday School class, Pastor Rosal (standing on the right) made a few announcements, and then the worship service began. Rev. Kleyn led the whole service and preached on Unconditional Election from Deuteronomy 7:6-8. There was much appreciation expressed for the sermon. Because they came out of Arminianism and still have many friends and family in the Arminian churches, the doctrines of grace are very relevant for the members. They love to hear of them and discuss the related issues and Bible verses.
- The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
- For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!
Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.
- Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
- And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh.
- Ryan Barnhill
- Daniel Holstege
- Brian Huizinga
- Immanuel PRC
- Reformed literature
- young people activities
- Martyn McGeown
- Audred Spriensma
- missions and evangelism
- PRC Seminary
- sister church relations
- ministerial calls
- Reformed Book Outlet
- Myanmar missions
- PRC young adult retreats
- India mission work
- Emmanuel Singh
- Rodney Kleyn
- Angus Stewart
- Jacob Maatman
- Matt Kortus
- Daniel Kleyn